TRIED AND TRUE
While the world has been waiting several months for Apple to release it's iPhone this June, RIM keeps announcing and releasing one new Blackberry after another.
In a recent post, I highlighted why I'm upgrading my Verizon Blackberry 7130 for the new 8830 being released in a couple of weeks. This is a higher-speed, Verizon version of it's cousin, the 8800, available already on AT&T/Cingular.
Now PC Magazine has a review of yet another new Blackberry, the 8300, that bridges the two recent new "Pearl" Blackberry. Here's how they explain the model:
"The first two new-generation BlackBerrys, the Pearl and the 8800, targeted very different audiences.
With its cute look, camera, and a keyboard descended from text-messaging devices, the Pearl was shooting for a younger crowd who may never even have considered buying a smartphone.
The 8800, meanwhile, served as the latest all-business BlackBerry for 2007, with a big screen, traditional keyboard, and no camera.
The Curve falls right between these two types of users. It has lots of multimedia capabilities, including a rockin' music player, a video player that's actually easy to use, and a 2-megapixel camera."
When it comes to Blackberrys, it's increasingly becoming tougher to choose one from so many good options.
The newest Blackberry, expected "later this Spring", will likely be first available on AT&T/Cingular network, which will also be home for the new Apple iPhone.
This means it will use the relatively slower EDGE technology for wireless data access, as compared to the EV-DO technologies that Verizon Wireless and Sprint use.
Despite that, here's the feature that is making me pause in my decision to go with the 8800 later this month, as PC Magazine describes:
"Let's start with that keyboard. These are old-school keys here—squarish, separated, and clicky, not the new sculpted keys from the 8800."
The keys on the regular keyboard Pearl Blackberry, the 8800, and the 8830, are still too close together for my taste. So a step back to the old keyboard is good from my perspective.
And here's another prosaic feature that's very important to me:
"The 8300 has the best speaker-phone of any BlackBerry so far—loud enough to be heard outside, with a very clear microphone."
Those two items, and the review covers many others, are enough for me to consider taking a closer look at the 8300. With this model, you get the one big key improvement in a Blackberry in years, the "Pearl" trackball replacing the thumb scroll-wheel, AND the "old-fashioned", wider-space full keyboard.
For folks who live and die by email on their Blackberrys, these two reasons are more than enough to switch.